Gagnon v. Nardelli, round two – something about dogs and Caravans

Timothy Kincaid

July 31st, 2012

A week ago we were privileged to host Robert Gagnon’s ‘The Bible and Homosexual Practice’ Ten Years After. A Non-Theological Assessment, a scholarly treatment of Gagnon’s book by classicist Jean-Fabrice Nardelli.

As is consistent with his nature, Gagnon has immediately responded. And also typical, his rebuttal is a tirade of insults from the start: The Dogs Bark But the Caravan Moves On.

I’ll let Gagnon’s rebuttal stand on its own merit, real or imagined. But in reading his defense of his position an odd thing became apparent. Gagnon seems to genuinely believe that the merits of his argument are measured in the number of pages he produces. We’ve joked about this before but, as peculiar as it seems, he actually does seem to prioritize the quantity of pages over the quality of their content. For example:

Nardelli obsesses on relatively minor points of the book, such as a ridiculous three-and-a-half page critique (pp. 9-12) of a three-sentence observation that I make about the Greek word epithumia (Ἐπιθυμίᾳ), “desire,” and another three pages (pp. 22-24) on a short paragraph in my book on Jesus’ use of the term raka in Matt 5:22 (and otherwise no discussion of a 43-page chapter of Jesus).

What an odd little man the far-right has latched onto.

Nardelli has responded to Gagnon’s dog and caravan show with a rejoinder of his own. This is getting quite interesting.

Jean-Fabrice Nardelli: Rejoinder To Gagnon’s “The Dogs Bar But The Caravan Moves On, Part One” (PDF: 109KB/12 pages)


July 31st, 2012

“The dogs bark but the caravan moves on” is an ancient Arab proverb which, according to Wiktionary, means “Life goes on, even if some will try to stop or talk against progress.” In this context I would characterize Gagnon as one of the dogs.

Craig L. Adams

July 31st, 2012

Thanks for the update. I had missed the earlier article by Nardelli. I’ve got some catching up to do!

Craig L. Adams

July 31st, 2012

I downloaded Gagnon’s reply to Nardelli but Adobe Reader doesn’t won’t open it! It’s telling me the file is damaged. I’ll take a look at Gagnon’s site. But, i thought you ought to know.

Timothy Kincaid

July 31st, 2012

thanks, I’ll take a look

Timothy Kincaid

July 31st, 2012


I’m not sure what’s up. I changed the link so it might be working now.

If not, Gagnon’s website is

Jim Burroway

July 31st, 2012

Is anyone else having any problems? I’m using Adobe Reader 9, and it opens up fine without any warnings on my computer.


July 31st, 2012

“The number of pages?” “Quantity?” So he’s tfaux-academic equivalent of a size queen?

Timothy Kincaid

July 31st, 2012

Yes, William… and Gagnon was seeking to insult Nardelli by calling him an inconsequential dog.

But isn’t it much more fun to misunderstand and include a picture of a dog in the back of a Dodge Caravan?

ISO Frontal Lobe

July 31st, 2012

Wow. An ‘academic’ slap-fight. Flashbacks of grad school. So this is what the dinosaurs sounded like. What an utter waste of time, reading and parsing. It’s like listening to two men debate while speaking underwater, only to realize they were reciting a phonebook. Gagnon’s rhetorical sphincter torqued so tightly as to make intelligible thought impossible. And yes, I know that Nardelli is working at a disadvantage by not writing in his native language, but writings like these are why ‘academics’ will become extinct.

I think we should bury them together spooning, perhaps with Regnerus, just for spite.


July 31st, 2012

This fine grain textual analysis of ancient languages handily demonstrates how easily translation of holy books yields support for whatever prejudice one has in mind. I’m not the first to point out that the Bible is like a mirror, an ass stares in…


August 1st, 2012

Nardelli obsesses on relatively minor points of the book, such as a ridiculous three-and-a-half page critique (pp. 9-12)

So … incredibly … ugh!

That’s coming from a man who wrote a 35 page response to basically a few sentences (maybe a couple of paragraphs) uttered by Alan Chambers concerning change and eternal security.

And just perusing Gagnon’s public facebook posts… the guy likes to say “ridiculous” and “silly.”

J Chervaux

August 1st, 2012

Nardelli is not interested in a point by point refutation of Gagnon’s theological ideology and skewed understanding of historical critical methodology – he could care less about churchiness truthiness.

The issue is more pointed at Gagnon’s crass use of Primary/Secondary sources to bolster his anti-gay rhetoric and gays going “against nature” and the so-called natural law (does Thomas Aquinas ring a bell?).

Gagnon has no business using science in any of his work – and it is somewhat glaring that Gagnon’s rejoinder skipped over Nardelli’s near 6 page work on developmental biology.

Read between Gagnon’s lines. He is using academic rhetoric to basically state that gays are not well, twisted, and going against the heteronormativity that is 98% of the world.

Thank you Nardelli! Keep Gagnon on the defensive as long as you can! I would love to see Gagnon scramble and stutter back.

William O'Donnell

October 17th, 2012

I like to visit Gagnon’s website to see what his daily preaching will include. His ignorance of basic biology and disregard for evolution is astounding, and I doubt he can solve y =mx + b.

There is a method to his madness, however, since his methodology appeals to those of low IQ

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